Strategic Partnership: Catalyzing Shared Vision
Over the past five years, SCOPEinsight and the IFC worked hard to develop an enabling environment and solid foundation for strengthening agribusinesses in emerging markets around the world. During this time, the IFC’s and SCOPEinsight’s shared vision was rooted in the strong belief that agribusinesses are the prime actors in the struggle against rural poverty, can stimulate economic growth, and strengthen food security in LMICs (Low and Middle-Income Countries). This joint vision helped us achieve the results reflected in this article.
A bold vision
In 2016, the IFC and SCOPEinsight formalized their strategic partnership by signing the first Framework Agreement. This agreement laid the foundation for collaboration across three broad initiatives: 1. Improvements to the SCOPEinsight IT platform 2. Implementation of SCOPE tools in projects for IFC clients, and 3. Co-development of new tools. Together, these initiatives created an enabling environment for development actors across the globe to coordinate in a more effective way by using internationally accepted definitions of professionalism, peer-reviewed tools (AMEA), and a data-driven approach to the provision of technical assistance.
Fully digital systems for scale
The first aspect of the partnership focused on updating SCOPEinsight’s systems and platforms to ensure a modernized and cloud-based system. As a result, assessors can collect data in the field by using a software application, while program managers are able to manage the assessment process, as well as access raw data, via the SCOPE dashboard.
Building an ecosystem
After having successfully tested and implemented the tools with clients like Cargill, Olam, and Heineken in a dozen countries, both parties realized that a coordinating third party was needed to help unite development practitioners regionally and stimulate local ecosystem development. Therefore, in 2016, they both helped create and launch AMEA – the Agribusiness Market Ecosystem Alliance – an alliance with 27 members from both the private and public sector who are dedicated to the development of professional farmer organizations having access to finance and markets. One of the biggest accomplishments of AMEA has been to elicit input from 220 stakeholders worldwide to develop, along with the ISO standard body, NEN, a global definition of farmer professionalism. This definition serves as a common language with which to unite development professionals and other stakeholders.
Tools for actors along the value chain
Lastly, the partners have co-created three important assessment tools: 1. The SCOPE Basic – an assessment tool to assess the management acumen for emerging farmer organizations, the SCOPE Agent – a tool to assess lead farmer/extension workers, and the Input retailer – a tool to measure the maturity of input retailer’s ability to run their business. To complement and complete the assessment tools, the IFC developed a curriculum to address the weaknesses identified in the diagnostic tools. To date, over 3,000 SCOPE Basic assessments have been conducted and over 150,000 farmers have been reached with the complementary curriculum.
What is next?
Now that the tools, curriculum, systems, and infrastructure is in place, the IFC and SCOPEinsight have made plans for the validation, scale-up, and expansion of partners/users to three continents in the coming three years. It is our joint vision that the approach could reach 10 million farmers by 2023. Contact us to find out more about how you could be part of this movement.